This is a bit of a cheat post, about some of the absolute highlights of the watching year. There’s some cheating involved because I haven’t written about some of the following pieces. At all.
(1) First up, absolutely, the epic that is Opus 25, set to Michael Thorke’s ‘Ash’, choreographed by Edward Liaang for Singapore Dance Theatre’s 25th Anniversary last year. With the opening notes, a rush of red cloth is pulled forward by four dancers running out of the darkness to the edge of the stage, and whipped back to reveal the full company of dancers in white tunics. Electric. I have no idea where to begin with writing about Opus 25. Take a mind and break it open.
(2) Bittersweet, by Natalie Weir; music from the Gladiator OST. Performed by Rosa Park and Timothy Coleman; and Uchida Chihiro and Chen Peng. Drafting a post on this right now, on the differing stories/interpretations one can get out of the two different performances. Heart-breaking and bitter. It lingers in the mind.
(3) Goh Choo San’s Romeo and Juliet, which made me cry and cry. Sometime, I hope to write up a few of my memories, before they fade. Likely on things like the Waltz of the families, and Mercutio and Tybalt, wildly colourful characters.
(4) Don Quixote. A golden moon rises behind the Dryads. It’s nice that it capped off a year that opened with a mirror-image tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. It’s a swinging piece that I want to remember for its warmth, colour and music.
(5) Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Major. I’ll be honest, this is nostalgic for me partly because after watching (3) above, I found out about the One @ The Ballet sessions and when I went, this was one of the pieces that was shown a fair bit. (For the same reason, Winds of Zephyrus and such also are nice to think about.) It opened the Ballet Under the Stars performances this year.
Really really want to talk about this sometime, in particular, the pas de deux.
Other things I enjoyed, too many. Seeing Mr Balanchine’s pieces performed live for the first time: Allegro Brilliante and Theme and Variations. Winds of Zephyrus and Chant (see comment in (5) above). For Winds of Zephyrus, the last movement in particular. Loved the music. Sweeps one up, off the feet.
Garrrrh, too many things. Next year starts with another entry, of course, on things to open the eyes for.
In other news, leastways from what I can see from the website, Senior Artist Timothy Coleman and First Artist Heidi Zolker have left — there were posts previously on their performances, but off the top of my head now I will say a brilliant Mercutio staggering to the death, and Espada and Mercedes from Don Quixote, and the leads of Allegro Brilliante. Gosh… (There are other changes — promotions, hurrah — new First Artists Maughan Jemesen and May Yen Cheah, and new Artists Stefaan Morrow and Ma Ni– off the top of the head.) Am not often into mentioning this, was reminded by seeing a website talk about such things — Wendy Whelan and such.
It has been a long year. On to the next!